Education

Special Grand Jury Concludes Loudoun County Public Schools ‘Dropped The Ball’ On Student Safety

(Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Chrissy Clark Education Reporter
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A nine-member grand jury in Virginia concluded that a public school district “dropped the ball” on student safety after multiple sexual assaults took place in the school district, according to the special grand jury’s report.

The report found that Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) prioritized the interests of district administrators over the safety of students. Grand jury members believe that “LCPS administrators were looking out for their own interests instead of the best interests of LCPS. This invariably led to a stunning lack of openness, transparency, and accountability both to the public and the special grand jury,” according to the report.

The grand jury uncovered message evidence that the district was aware of multiple sexual assaults that occurred on two high school campuses in 2021. The district failed to inform LCPS community members about the assaults, citing privacy concerns for the students involved.

The grand jury blamed the lack of transparency on the district’s superintendent and public information officer who “deliberately [made] no mention of the sexual assault that took place just hours earlier” in an email to parents.

“Nor does [their message] mention the fact the assailant had gone missing in SBHS for hours after he committed the sexual assault, jeopardizing the safety of all students,” the report continues.

LCPS also reportedly allowed the assailant back onto school grounds following one of the assaults, allowing him to delete important conversations relevant to the assaults from his LCPS-registered Chromebook.

“LCPS dropped the ball in this instance in alerting the community about this incident,” the report reads.

The inquiry into the events at LCPS began after Gov. Glenn Youngkin issued an executive order permitting an investigation into the school board. (RELATED: Report: Virginia Grand Jury Investigating Loudoun Schools Over Allegedly Mishandling Sexual Assaults)

Loudoun County School Board told the Daily Caller that it is “pleased” that the grand jury’s “extensive investigation found no evidence of criminal conduct on the part of anyone within LCPS, and not a single indictment was filed as a result of this lengthy process.”

The grand jury has not officially convened at this time, leading skeptics to believe that indictments may come in the near future.

Included in the grand jury’s report was a statement noting the “lack of cooperation” from the school district and the majority of school board members throughout the investigation, even though the jury concluded that there was no coordinated cover-up of the incidents.

“We expected these public servants to provide clarity, transparency, and a willingness to report truthfully to their constituents. Instead, we were met with obfuscation, deflection, and obvious legal strategies designed to frustrate the special grand jury’s work,” the report reads.

These actions appear to counter previous statements made by district spokesman Wayde Byard. Byard previously told the Daily Caller that the district “intends to cooperate with the lawful requests of the special grand jury, while protecting the privacy rights of our students to the extent permitted by law and in accordance with all applicable legal privileges.”